Boots & Sabers

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0920, 18 Nov 19

Fitz Stands Alone in 5th

On the Republican side.

It has been two months since U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner announced his retirement, an event political insiders once thought would trigger a succession battle royale in his staunchly conservative suburban Milwaukee district. Yet only one Republican has emerged to run for the seat.

That Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has so far cleared the Republican field a year before the election is a testament to his political savvy and a streak of conservative political victories going back more than a decade.

“Fitz,” as he’s known at the Capitol, credited his position in the race to his experience and conservative politics.

I am disappointed that this is shaking out to be an ascension. Fitz has been a solid part of the Conservative revolution in Wisconsin and is a quality candidate for this office. I could dicker over a few things, but on the whole, I would feel comfortable voting for him to represent me in Washington.

But Sensenbrenner has represented the 5th CD for 40 years. He has been a great representative, but a lot has changed in 40 years. As a solid Republican seat, this was a chance for a robust primary debate about the state of the Republican Party, the needs of the 5th CD, and what the citizens want to see out of their representative. Is the 5th CD more populist now? Traditional conservative? Libertarian? What about the issues about which conservatives have legitimate disagreements?

The citizens of the 5th CD are being deprived of that internal debate because the Republican Party has aligned behind Fitz. And even if it is not the case, it reeks of smoky back room deals and political cronyism.

It is not too late to still have a robust primary debate, but the window is closing. I hope some good Republicans will consider getting into the race to give the voters a real choice.


0920, 18 November 2019


  1. Merlin

    The expression of divergent viewpoints in a primary debate setting is very expensive for the candidates. Maybe viewpoints this time around aren’t quite divergent enough to justify the expense. Maybe.

  2. Owen

    Perhaps. But as a vote in the 5th, I feel robbed of any debate or choice.

  3. jjf

    Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.

    And this is why people hedge their words and don’t state what they know, because they don’t want to seem disloyal.

  4. Kevin Scheunemann

    Owen could run.

    I could support him overr Fritz.


  5. Kevin Scheunemann


    Oh please.   Fritz is just a good candidate.

    Why don’t you run?

  6. jjf

    I like what I do and don’t think I’d enjoy being a politician.  But I did help one of the last people to run against Fitz, so there’s that.

    Gerrymandered incumbents and lockstep conformity are what made the WisGOP great, aina?  Why complain now?  You want a real choice for a good Republican?

    Aww.  Hold your nose and vote, but don’t forget to make a campaign contribution to the state party, because they’re in charge for handing out the dough to the races they’ve decided.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann



  8. Le Roi du Nord


    You sure are quick to call folks “coward” if they don’t do as you wish.  Why didn’t you enlist in the military and become a hero?  Other priorities?  You liked what you were doing?  Didn’t want to be a soldier?  Or cowardice?

  9. jjf

    Le Roi, I think Kevin likes telling people what to do.  You know, an authoritarian.  Like those Marxists in China.  Maybe we should demand that he stand up and denounce himself.

  10. jjf

    An excerpt from something I was reading that made me think of Fitz:

    “Two basic norms have preserved America’s checks and balances in ways we have come to take for granted: mutual toleration, or the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals, and forbearance, or the idea that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives.

    These two norms undergirded American democracy for most of the 20th century. Leaders of the two major parties accepted one another as legitimate and resisted the temptation to use their temporary control of institutions to maximum partisan advantage. Norms of toleration and restraint served as the soft guardrails of American democracy, helping it avoid the kind of partisan fight to the death that has destroyed democracies elsewhere in the world, including Europe in the 1930s and South America in the 1960s and 1970s.”

  11. Le Roi du Nord


    Oh, for sure.  k is a wanna-be tin pot dictator, and wants to be in a position where he can rule others he feels are inferior or undeserving, or unpatriotic, or any other label de jour he can come up with.   And he has some great role models in fitz, vos and 45.

    Great quote.  Keep up the good work.

  12. Mar

    Sounds like Paul’s 2 brain cells exploded again.

  13. jjf

    Weird, Dad29 never says anything about that guy’s meds.

  14. dad29

    the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals

    Yah, that was operative until the election of 2016.

    Fitzgerald is The Terminator for any pro-life legislation in Wisconsin–and apparently The Terminator for any competitors, although Sensenbrenner’s very, very, very, late decision to retire (about 20 years late) also eliminated a number of possibilities.

  15. jjf

    You think Fitz avoids it from personal pro-choice conviction or because he thinks it’ll hurt his party, or both?

  16. Kevin Scheunemann


    Anyone that complains about lack of candidates in the way you do, but then does not run himself, is a hypocrite as well.

    Throw your hat in, let’s here about all the awful liberal things you want to do.


  17. dad29

    Jiffy, let’s talk about the abrogation of the civility you uncovered in your reading–you know, the Obstruction of the Election of 2016 out in D.C.

    Do you think the Democrat Party has lost its mind?  What made them do that?  How would you differ in your approach to the situation?


  18. Mar

    “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.”
    Tell that to Bernie in 2016.

  19. jjf

    Kevin, I might enjoy real custard made with egg and real milk fat, but that doesn’t mean I’m a hypocrite for not opening a Culvers.  Although I confess I can make a homemade chocolate ice cream that’ll make you hear voices from the freezer saying “eat me, eat me.”

    Dad29, you dodged my question.  Obstruction?  What are you talking about?  I have few insights into the workings of the Democrats.  They’re doomed because the Republicans have the wealthy on their side, and no scruples, and a lust for power?

  20. dad29

    Norms of toleration and restraint served as the soft guardrails of American democracy, helping it avoid the kind of partisan fight to the death that has destroyed democracies elsewhere in the world,

    No, Jiffy, you dodged the question, and inartfully, just like your Hero, Swallowswell.  Now that your Party has committed to ‘….destroying democracy…’ (YOUR quote, Jiffy), perhaps you can explain why.

    As to “rich guys” backing Pubbies… are completely unaware of reality.  Check your medicine bottles for correct dosage and frequency.

  21. jjf

    We were talking about Fitz.  And Kevin bravely steps up and accuses me of hypocrisy because I won’t run for office because, Follow The Logic™, Owen wished out loud for more candidates.  Yes, I hold up Fitz as a fine example of the quote I quoted.  Yes, I’m aware that Dems get money, too.  You volunteered why you don’t like Fitz and I asked why you think he’s that way, and you haven’t answered.

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